Tans may fade as summer comes to a close, but Wrightsville Beach is here and ready for your perfect fall getaway. Whether you need a change in scenery for working from home or virtual learning, are looking for a romantic escape or simply searching for a new view after months at home, you can still enjoy some of your favorite summer activities well into the autumn months. With pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds, in addition to off-season rates, fall is the new summer in Wrightsville Beach.
From full-service resort hotels and comfortable motels to a variety of vacation rentals, there are plenty of choices for your perfect island retreat. Be sure to check out lodging partner websites to discover off-season rates where available, and look for mid-week stays to discover the best savings. Many lodging properties, restaurants and other businesses are practicing enhanced safety protocols due to COVID-19, as well as participating in Count on Me NC, a public health initiative formed to help keep businesses and visitors safe during COVID-19.
From sailing and boating to surfing, kayaking, fishing and more, the Blockade Runner Beach Resort offers surf-to-sound adventures, as well as a scenic oceanfront garden and lawn space perfect for enjoying fall weather. Dine on a delicious meal at the award-winning EAST Oceanfront Dining, where you can choose from a selection of fresh local seafood, as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Grab lunch at the on-site restaurant on your way to relax at Shell Island Resort’s indoor or outdoor pools, or find a chair and watch the waves crash at the private beach access. Wake up to scenic oceanfront views from private balconies in every suite. With an indoor and outdoor pool, two hot tubs and an oceanfront bar and grill serving burgers, sandwiches, salads and tropical beverages, there are plenty of ways to relax at the Holiday Inn Resort Wrightsville Beach. To experience true island living, opt for a stay at one of our vacation rentals complete with porches, decks and eat-in kitchens to fit whatever home conveniences you’re looking for.
Taste your way across the island with a variety of dining experiences. Bluewater Waterfront Grill offers stunning panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway from its dining room or waterfront patio complemented by classic coastal flavors. And, with a dock directly in front of the restaurant, boaters can dock and dine after a day on the water.
Wrightsville Beach’s only standalone restaurant on the beach, dining on the pier at Oceanic Restaurant is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Enjoy Coastal-inspired cuisine and specialty cocktails while taking in the gorgeous ocean views. Or, wind down with one of the signature Sunset Specials or Wine Dinners on The Bridge Tender’s waterfront patio overlooking the marina. Settle in to watch the view of the spectacular sunset over the Intracoastal Waterway.
With endless activities and watersports galore extending into fall, Wrightsville Beach’s clear blue waters are an ideal place to get active while getting away. Enjoy the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway year-round with stand-up paddleboard, kayak or canoe rentals from Wrightsville SUP, or dive into surf lessons for a break from school lessons with Crystal South Surf Camp. At Cape Fear Paddleboarding, set out on a guided sunrise or sunset tour with professional instructors to explore the salt marsh and experience breathtaking views. Yogis can find their Zen while admiring the views with beach yoga on the Crystal Pier, recurring weekly on Saturdays and Sundays through September, or under the shade trees at Harbor Way Gardens.
In Wrightsville Beach, nature can be found around every corner. Discover the diverse ecosystem of the Cape Fear River and explore the unique wildlife, gardens and scenic trails found around the island. At nearly 9 miles in length, Masonboro Island Reserve is the longest undisturbed barrier island ecosystem in southern North Carolina. You’ll find pristine examples of barrier island, salt marsh and tidal creek ecosystems, as well as discover the birds, fish, invertebrates and sea turtles who call the habitat home. Masonboro is accessible by boat through cruises with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours or the Blockade Runner Surf to Sound Adventures’ newest boat, the Carolina Runner.
Bird lovers will want to head to the south end of the island to find the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, a popular location among beach-nesting birds.
Golden Hour Views
Savor the sunsets and fall air with the perfect beer or tropical cocktail. Whether it be a waterfront libation, craft brew or cocktail, Wrightsville Beach offers the ultimate mix of local beverages and breathtaking views. Enjoy views of Banks Channel at South Beach Grill, known for its ever-changing chalkboard menu featuring fresh, seasonal dishes, while sipping on a specialty cocktail on the covered, dog-friendly patio. For total relaxation, watch boats meander down the Intracoastal Waterway at Dockside Restaurant, where you’ll find seasonal cocktails and brews complemented by dishes featuring coastal flavors like Spanky’s Blue Crab Dip, shrimp tacos or crispy calamari. With more than 600 wine selections and over 800 craft brews, Lighthouse Beer & Wine is your one-stop-shop. And even better, you can savor your selections in the attached dog-friendly Beer Garden.
With panoramic ocean views and expanses of nature and wildlife to explore, the perfect fall escape is waiting for you at Wrightsville Beach.
If you are looking to take an afternoon break from the shore, browse the locally-owned shops and must-see stops in Wrightsville Beach.